Liberty News

-By Warner Todd Huston

An actress, model, and African American business entrepreneur credited with reviving a once-blighted neighborhood and bringing back theater goers to the New York Theater District is about to lose her business to a greedy union that wants to hike the rent for her famous restaurant 350 percent.

Back in 1986, Barbara Smith, sometimes called “the black Martha Stewart,” opened a restaurant in the Theater District called B. Smith’s. Her eatery soon became the toast of theater goers and stars alike. It also became a favorite in the African American community.

B. Smith’s was visited by such famous people as Denzel Washington, August Wilson, Danny Glover, Sidney Poitier, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Angela Bassett Liza Minnelli and more.

Unfortunately, the building in which Smith opened her famous restaurant is run by the Local One of the stagehands union and quite despite what she has done for New York Theater the union has decided to raise the rent so high on Smith that she will be priced out of her long-time business.

Now with the lease expiring in February, the union wants to increase the rent 350 percent — from around $13,500 a month to about $50,000, going up to $60,000 a month within five years.

Smith is aghast at the union’s uncaring attitude.

“The very nature of the money they are asking says they don’t want us here,” Smith said. “Our attitude is that we survived 11 years and gave the building and Restaurant Row more value than it had previously.”

So, once again, we see the lie put to every axiom that unions put to businesses. They say that they want “quality of life.” They say that tradition and people are more important than profits. Unions claim they are more interested in the community than evil businesses are.

Yet here they are in this case destroying every single thing they claim to champion.

These greedy, money hungry union thugs are the worst kind of hypocrites.

But, these are tough times, to be sure. Perhaps these stagehands need the money? Hardly. Many of these unionistas extort a salary of upwards to $422,000 per year from theaters. They hardly need the cash.

These are just moneygrubbing, greedy unions at work.

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-By Warner Todd Huston

“Since 1975,” a study of union violence says, there has been “more than 9,000 reports of union violence.” With that in mind, wouldn’t it scare you if you were told that your name and address would be made public knowledge if you were hired as a temporary or replacement worker during a union strike? If you had any sense you sure would.

Well, now that is exactly what the Obama administration wants to do. Obama’s Department of Labor wants to make a new rule that businesses must disclose the names and addresses of individuals that are hired during strikes to replace unionized workers, whether permanently or temporarily.

With the long, long history of murder, property damage, beatings, and general harassment that unions have engaged in since unions came to this nation, the idea of having a worker’s name and address released to these union thugs so that unions can create hit lists of employees to attack is unconscionable.

Obama plans to put the property, family, and the very lives of thousands of workers in danger just so he can again give a big payoff to Big Labor.

This month the DOL has a public comment period on a 160 page rule change and tucked into that new rule is a section that will require staffing agencies to file with the government when they supply temp workers to businesses experiencing strikes, walkouts, or slow downs initiated by unions.

The new rule seems to also require that the people these temp agencies hire to also file their names and addresses with the DOL via a new form they would have to fill out. (See Labor Union Report for a copy of the form in question and for more technical info on this rule.)

These forms will be public knowledge as soon as the government gets its hands on them. That means that workers’ names and home addresses will also be public knowledge. That means that union thugs can get hold of these names and addresses so that they can amass lists of workers to scare away from their job in order to save union jobs.

Unfortunately, we only have one more day to tell Obama’s union thugs that they should not be allowed to have the names and home addresses of replacement workers. The public comments period closes at the end of the business day on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

You don’t have to be an employer or some anti-union advocate to make a comment. Any American can tell Obama that his idea of allowing unions to attack workers is a bad one. So please do go and make a short comment telling Obama that you are against his new rule putting worker’s lives in danger.

Here is the web address:!submitComment;D=LMSO-2011-0002-0001

This is yet one more example of the perfect storm of regulation changes that this administration is attempting to throw at the business community.

While Obama sits there on his mountaintop scolding businesses for not hiring, not expanding, and not growing, while he mouths the nice sounding words of “cutting regulations” his regulatory agencies are issuing one business-killing new rule after another. Every month is a new anti-business rules change and this one could result in blood being spilled by his dangerous union pals.

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